Thursday, March 12, 2015

Four Skills Books for General English Classes

It's all about my favorite ESL Textbooks for general, 4-skills English classes. I'm only reviewing books that I've used in my own classes (of course!). For even more of my ESL textbook reviews, check out another site of mine, ESL Textbook Reviews.

The Four Corners Series

If I had only one choice for a 4-skills EFL textbook, this would be it. There are no "throw-away" chapters like in so many of the other books and the activities are interesting and engaging. It's so well designed actually that it's almost impossible for students not to participate. It's communication centered and focuses heavily on speaking, although it does hit the other three skills. Trust me, you won't be disappointed if you choose this book.

The Touchstone Series

I used the Touchstone series a number of years ago and remember hating it: text-heavy pages that were just overwhelming for me, and even more so for the students. However, I'm using it for my conversation classes these days (I had no choice!), but I have to say that they've made the second edition significantly better. There are some solid listening and reading activities, as well as some communicative "free-talking" activities at the back. By book 4, it's serious English so if you have quite high level students, check it out.

The World Link Series

I used this book for about 3 years at my old university and while I was a bit burnt out on it near the end, it really is a solid book. The units are interesting and engaging and are on the simpler side if you have lower-level, or multi-level classes. There just isn't that much text on the page, which is something I appreciate in an ESL textbook. The supplementary teacher's activity book was excellent and I used almost every single activity in it, so make sure you get that as well.
World Link: Teacher's Resource Text Bk. 1

The Smart Choice Series

I used the Smart Choice series a few years ago at my old university for a supplementary program and really enjoyed teaching it. It's grammar, but in a very simple, easy to understand way. It made teaching easy and very minimal prep was required because the book was good enough to just teach straight from it. The students usually seemed to enjoy the topics and it was easy enough to build natural conversations from it.

The Interchange Series

Interchange is one of the most popular 4-skills English as a second language textbooks and for good reason: it's solid. Jack Richards is one of the best ESL textbook writers out there and anything with his name on it is sure to be a good choice. If I was an admin of a program of some kind, I'd look closely at this book.

No comments: